For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope
John Wesley’s father, Samuel, was a dedicated pastor, but there were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the rectory at Epworth, possibly set by one of the rector’s enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on an upper floor of the building. Two neighbours rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in.
One neighbour stood on the other’s shoulders and pulled young John through the window. Samuel Wesley said, “Come, neighbours, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough.” Young John was supposed to perish in the fire, but God had a plan for him. Years later, as a full-grown minister of God, John Wesley would remember the incident and refer to himself as a “brand plucked out of the fire” (Zechariah 3:2; Amos 4:11). He often noted February 9 in his journal and gave thanks to God for His mercy.
The enemy does not have the final say concerning your life. God does. You are His program. Before He formed you in the womb He knew you (Jeremiah 1:5), and prepared you for good works (Ephesians 2:10). You are not at the mercy of life and its varied circumstances. Just as He plucked the young John Wesley from the fire, He will save you from trouble and guide you toward His plans and purposes for your life. His blessings are always available, and we are the source and channels by which these blessings will reach out to the rest of the world.
So no matter what you are going through, always remember, you are not just in the program of God, you are the program of God; His all-consuming passion. Now we can understand why David said, “What is man that your mind if full of him… (Psalm 8:4).” But the temporary and seemingly contrary situations of our lives often conspire to force us into thinking that God has forgotten us. Now consider this.
There are few human conditions as adverse or as terrible as slavery. A person who becomes a slave loses everything; their family, property and even their identity. A slave, ordinarily, has nothing to aspire toward. His future, life or death, lies in the hands of his master. And so if anyone has any logical reason to think God has abandoned him or her, a slave does.
But Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel thought differently. These were men of high standing – priests, princes, and prophets – who had been taken captive by a foreign power. But rather than lament about how bad their situations had become, or bemoan their seeming abandonment by God, they moved closer to Him. And through their lives and prophecies, even in the thickest of adversities, they gave us portions of the Bible, as we have today. If they had yielded to that human propensity to give up on God in the face of adversity; if they had failed to remember that they served a God who had their times and season in His hands, they would have died unsung with God’s plans and purposes for their lives unfulfilled.
Why would Pastor Babalola decree a thing and it would happen? Why would Pastor Taiwo decree a thing and it would happen? Why would Bishop Okonkwo declare a thing and it would happen? Why would Pastor Kumuyi declare a thing and it would happen? Why would Pastor Adeboye declare a thing and it would happen? The reason is because these men of God invest time and effort in seeking after God wholeheartedly.
Pursue Him wholeheartedly and you will not only find Him, you will also find the purpose for which He created you. Surrender yourself to Him and He will show you great and mighty things you do not know. You are God’s program. You are not forsaken. You are not forgotten.
Say this to yourself: I am the most important program to God. I am very important to God’s program. I am key to God’s program. I am engraved in the palm of His Hands. I am the apple of His eyes. You can’t touch me because you will be touching God’s eyes. Everything I do in life is in the program of God. My intentions are in the program of God. My pursuits, my objectives are in the program of God. My vision and mission are in the program of God. He that did not withhold His Son, but gave Him up for me shall not withhold anything from me. I am important to God. I am important to His program. I am important to his intention. I am important to His Way.